The Science and Psychology of Music Performance: Creative Strategies for Teaching and Learning

Oxford University Press
Free sample

What type of practice makes a musician perfect? What sort of child is most likely to succeed on a musical instrument? What practice strategies yield the fastest improvement in skills such as sight-reading, memorization, and intonation? Scientific and psychological research can offer answers to these and other questions that musicians face every day. In The Science and Psychology of Music Performance, Richard Parncutt and Gary McPherson assemble relevant current research findings and make them accessible to musicians and music educators. This book describes new approaches to teaching music, learning music, and making music at all educational and skill levels. Each chapter represents the collaboration between a music researcher (usually a music psychologist) and a performer or music educator. This combination of expertise results in excellent practical advice. Readers will learn, for example, that they are in the majority (57%) if they experience rapid heartbeat before performances; the chapter devoted to performance anxiety will help them decide whether beta-blocker medication, hypnotherapy, or the Alexander Technique of relaxation might alleviate their stage fright. Another chapter outlines a step-by-step method for introducing children to musical notation, firmly based on research in cognitive development. Altogether, the 21 chapters cover the personal, environmental, and acoustical influences that shape the learning and performance of music.
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About the author

Richard Parncutt is associate professor of systematic musicology at the University of Graz. He is the author of Harmony: A Psychoaccoustical Approach, and many research articles on the perception of harmony, tonality, and rhythm. He is also an internationally experienced pianist and piano teacher. Gary McPherson is associate professor of music education at the University of New South Wales. He has served as treasurer of the International Society for Music Education and national president of the Australian Society for Music Education. As a trumpeter, he has performed with several of Australia's leading ensembles.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Apr 18, 2002
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780195350173
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Instruction & Study / General
Music / Instruction & Study / Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book "Becoming a One Person Band" gives advice and tips on how to help a person to go from being a keyboard player (or perhaps other musician) to becoming a one person band of 4 or even as many as 16 instruments.  This approach does require a home recording studio and some information is provided in this book on possible approaches.  However, there are of course many ways to do a home recording studio, and so this book concentrates more on technique and how perhaps to determine what notes or chords to play.


What do you need?  A recording studio of course.  But also a desire to become your own one person band as a hobby or even more than a hobby.  And while a musician who only plays guitar or non keyboards may go a distance into becoming your own band, keyboard background would be even more helpful.  What kind of keyboard background would a person need?  If a person has experience with piano, organ or accordion or simply a modern day keyboard or keyboard controller and has one already, that would be a great start.  Why the emphasis on keyboards?  Modern day midi systems or DAW (Digital Audio Workstations) often take their inputs from keyboards and with that can create many sounds and also sound effects.  Yes, much can be done with guitars and perhaps just writing notes in for other parts, but keyboard experience is a great help.


What talent is needed?  It would be hard for me to define that.  I never felt that I was anything special and yet I have accomplished a number of one person band songs with as many as 15 parts, and also enjoyed doing it.  Of course if you have something of a music and band background and also some music theory background it is of course a big help.  I do wish you the very best in your music endeavor, and hope that this book is at least a little helpful to you and your dreams or hobby.

Ron Plachno (author)

Music, Meaning and Transformation: meaningful music making for life, examines the musical experiences that students find meaningful and the ways in which teachers, parents and community music leaders might provide access to meaningful music education. This is particularly relevant today because school music often fails to provide sustainable access to music making for life, health and wellbeing beyond school. This book seeks to reframe the focus of music education within a pragmatist philosophy and provide a framework that is culturally and chronologically inclusive.

The approach involves an intensely personal music teachers’ journey that privilege the voices of students and teachers of a music making community and sets these against rigorous long termed qualitative methodologies.

Music education is shifting focus away from music as an object and process towards the meaning experienced by the student personally, socially and culturally. This is an important and fundamental issue for the development of philosophy for pre-service and practicing music teachers and community music project leaders. The focus now needs to be upon the 98% who could have music as a significant expressive force in their lives as a means of facilitating social inclusion, for mental health and well being and to have access to the sense of belonging that community music making can bring as a lifelong activity. The book aims to provide a comprehensive guide to music education that leads to a music education for all for life. This book emphasises the maker in context examining: the student as maker, the teacher as builder and designer and the school as village.

The relationship between music making, education and health and well being has been and is the subject of many research projects and national and international reviews. Seldom though in these studies has there been any attempt to identify the qualities of successful and sustainable interactions with music making, the qualities of good teaching and good teaching practice. The focus of this book is to provide simple but effective tools for evaluating and testing the meaning evident in a music-making context, identify the modes of engagement and establish the unique expressive music making needs of twenty first century communities.

For further information see http://savetodisc.net

My first encounter with the theory of harmony was during my last year at school (1975). This fascinating system of rules crystallized the intuitive knowledge of harmony I had acquired from years of piano playing, and facilitated memorization, transcription, arrangement and composition. For the next five years, I studied music (piano) and science (Physics) at the Univer sity of Melbourne. This "strange combination" started me wondering about the origins of those music theory "rules". To what extent were they determined or influenced by physics? mathematics? physiology? conditioning? In 1981, the supervisor of my honours project in musical acoustics, Neville Fletcher, showed me an article entitled "Pitch, consonance, and harmony", by a certain Ernst Terhardt of the Technical University of Munich. By that stage, I had devoured a considerable amount of (largely unsatisfactory) material on the nature and origins of harmony, which enabled me to recognize the significance of Terhardt's article. But it was not until I arrived in Munich the following year (on Terhardt's invitation) that I began to appreciate the conse quences of his "psychoacoustical" approach for the theory of harmony. That is what this book is about. The book presents Terhardt's work against the broad context of music perception research, past and present. Music perception is a multidisciplinary mixture of physics, psychology and music. Where different theoretical ap proaches appear contradictory, I try to show instead that they complement and enrich one another.
The memory feats of famous musicians seem almost superhuman. Can such extraordinary accomplishments be explained by the same principles that account for more ordinary, everyday memory abilities? To find out, a concert pianist videotaped her practice as she learned a new piece for performance, the third movement, Presto, of the Italian Concerto by J.S. Bach. The story of how the pianist went about learning, memorizing and polishing the piece is told from the viewpoints of the pianist (the second author) and of a cognitive psychologist (the first author) observing the practice. The counterpoint between these insider and outsider perspectives is framed by the observations of a social psychologist (the third author) about how the two viewpoints were reconciled. The CD that accompanies the book provides for yet another perspective, allowing the reader to hear the polished performance.

Written for both psychologists and musicians, the book provides the first detailed description of how an experienced pianist organizes her practice, identifying stages of the learning process, characteristics of expert practice, and practice strategies. The main focus, however, is on memorization. An analysis of what prominent pianists of the past century have said about memorization reveals considerable disagreement and confusion. Using previous work on expert memory as a starting point, the authors show how principles of memory developed by cognitive psychologists apply to musical performance and uncover the intimate connection between memorization and interpretation.
The new edition of The Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development celebrates the richness and diversity of the many different ways in which children can engage in and interact with music. It presents theory - both cutting edge and classic - in an accessible way for readers by surveying research concerned with the development and acquisition of musical skills. The focus is on musical development from conception to late adolescences, although the bulk of the coverage concentrates on the period when children are able to begin formal music instruction (from around age 3) until the final year of formal schooling (around age 18). There are many conceptions of how musical development might take place, just as there are for other disciplines and areas of human potential. Consequently, the publication highlights the diversity in current literature dealing with how we think about and conceptualise children's musical development. Each of the authors has searched for a better and more effective way to explain in their own words and according to their own perspective, the remarkable ways in which children engage with music. In the field of educational psychology there are a number of publications that survey the issues surrounding child and adolescent development. Some of the more innovative present research and theories, and their educational implications, in a style that stresses the fundamental interplay among the biological, environmental, social and cultural influences at each stage of a child's development. Until now, no similar overview has existed for child and adolescent development in the field of music. The Child as Musician addresses this imbalance, and is essential for those in the fields of child development, music education, and music cognition.
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